Viscose fibre maker Lenzing AG today (12 March) posted a 48% hike in full-year profit, helped by rising prices and the expansion of its core cellulose fibres business.

Net income was at EUR83.9m (US$110.4m), compared to last year's EUR56.9m.

Group sales rose 16.8% to EUR1.1bn (US$1.4bn), exceeding the one billion euro mark for the first time, up from EUR942.6m last year. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were EUR107.1m, a climb of 31% over the previous year.

Sales in the textile fibres business unit increased by 16% to EUR902.8m, despite higher energy and pulp costs.

"In 2006 we further strengthened our leading global market position and moreover enhanced our leadership in the specialty fibre segment - despite considerable capacity expansion by our Asian competitors," said Thomas Fahnemann, chairman of the Lenzing management board.